A Man of Prayer
When you look at the books that are on your shelf, how many of them are on the subject of prayer? When you look at the eBooks you have downloaded on your I Pad or Kindle how many of them are on the topic of prayer? If I come to visit your home will I find a good amount of books that will teach you how to develop a strong prayer life or will they be books on personal motivation or on wanting God to bless me and mine? It is interesting to note that when you go into a Christian Bookstore you will find tons of CDs, DVDs, and books that are on sale. The books that are purchased by people are on subjects like how to get financial prosperity, receiving physical healing or how to become a successful man. However, the one topic that bookstores have on their shelves which are filled with books are on the subject of prayer. Unlike the others topics that are more popular and are purchased by people, those books are more centered on what they want God to do for them versus how they can surrender their hearts to the Father.
Prayer is not about putting in a word with the man upstairs when we are in a time of crisis. Prayer is not about giving God a wish list of all our wants and needs. Our God who we serve is not the man upstairs but He is the Lord God Almighty that is greater than any circumstance in our lives. Prayer is not engaging in a religious exercise for fifteen, thirty minutes or an hour. However, prayer is having an intimate conversation with our Father where we talk to Him and He talks back to us. The songwriter once wrote, “what needless pain we bear when we fail to take everything to the Lord in prayer”. Now there are three important lessons that we can apply in our lives to become a man of prayer in our relationship with the Lord. The first lesson that we can take for the record of Daniel is that we have to be a man that has a quiet place of prayer. The second important lesson we can take from the life of Daniel was he understood that his position of power was not from the office he held but fighting his battle on his knees. The final lesson that we can take from the life of Daniel is that through the power of prayer can we change the laws of men.
When Daniel had received the news that a royal decree had been passed by the king that no petition of prayer could not be offered to no other god or person except the king, at the result of the presidents and princes influence upon the king, Daniel when up to his chamber with his window open and prayed three times a day (Daniel 6:10).
A Quiet Place of prayer
The first lesson that we can take for the record of Daniel is that we have to be a man that has a quiet place of prayer. When the men learned of the possibility that King Darius would promote Daniel over the whole realm they sought to attack Daniel and his relationship with his God. The presidents, princes and other leaders of King Darius convince the king to sign the royal decree that if any person prayed to any god or man except the king they would be punished through death for their disobedience. When Daniel received the news that the royal decree had been signed by the king, the word of God tells us that Daniel went into his chamber to pray three times a day. His place of prayer was directed toward Jerusalem so that he could have his focus on the Lord despite the royal decree permitting him not to pray to Jehovah but to only petition the king. When Daniel prayed three times a day he did not do it because he wanted to put on a show before men to be seen by them. However, the reason why Daniel prayed was that he faced toward Jerusalem out of obedience to what the Lord commanded during times of prayer. The word of God says in 2 Chronicles 6:36-39 if God’s people turn their hearts to Him even though they were in a land of captivity, He would hear from Heaven and forgive their sins.
When Daniel prayed three times a day it was not because of his faith or Jewish custom only. However, I believe Daniel conviction in praying in spite of the attacks of men was because Daniel was a true man of prayer who honored his God. Are you a man that has a prayer life or do you just pray when trouble arises in your life? Where is the place that you spend time praying so that you can avoid being distracted by others? Is your place of prayer your bedroom, your living room or in your bathroom? Also, do you have a set time either in the morning, evening or late night where you turn off your cellphone where you won’t be interrupted to pour out your heart to the Lord? In Matthew 6:9 in the Message version, the word of God says “Here’s what I want you to do: Find a quiet, secluded place so you won’t be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense his grace”. Being a man of prayer is not something you do but being a man of prayer is something that you are. A man of prayer is committed having a place of prayer free from the pull of men for a period of time. Being a man of prayer is having a time where you can be alone with God so that you can allow Him to speak with you on how you are to deal with the challenges that are a threat to you and your relationship with the Father.
A Position of power
The second important lesson we can take from the life of Daniel was he understood that his position of power was not from the office he held but fighting his battle on his knees. When Daniel learned that the royal decree had been signed, he did not try to use his position of leadership to overturn the decree. Daniel was a man who had an excellent spirit, he was faithful and he was a person of integrity. He was a man who had courage, he had conviction and his commitment was to serve the one true God. He could have easily requested an audience with the king to express why he felt the decree was wrong and how the presidents, princes and other men never consulted him about presenting the decree before the king. He could have also pointed to him what he had accomplished for the king and how under his leadership the king suffered no damage or loss. When Daniel knew that law was signed by the king he did not pray to be delivered from the consequences of not obeying the decree. However, the position of power which Daniel use was not his title or influence but it was the power of fighting his battles on his knees.
When man legislates sin, don’t stop praying and seeking the Father in your quiet place of prayer even if men don’t approve of you doing it. As laws of same-sex marriage, medical marijuana and poor laws on gun control are passed, these laws cannot be overturned with the political office we run for. Your position of power is not based upon the titles, the degrees or the charisma that you have as a man. Your position of power is through you being a man of prayer who understand that prayer still changes things. In James 5:16, the New American Standard Bible, the word of God says “The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much”. As a man of prayer, you understand that there are some battles God never attended for you to fight with your fists clenched ready to strike someone. As a man of prayer, you are able to do spiritual warfare with your hands lifted up to God and allowing the hand of God to move on your behalf. We have to trust in the Lord despite what man may put in our way that the Lord has a bigger plan in motion for as men to be a part of it.
Prayer can change laws
The final lesson that we can take from the life of Daniel is that through the power of prayer we can change the laws of men. There have been so many laws passed by men which are a contradiction to the word of God. Some of these laws negatively affect us which may cause people to raise up their voices in protest to have them change. However, though people may protest for the changing of laws that are endangering our youth and separating families who come into this country, political leaders stay silent not wanting to help others. Those who are being oppressed may feel that things will never get better for them and God is silent to their prayers. However, the word of God declares that “To everything, there is a season and a time for every purpose under the Heaven” (Ecclesiastics 3:1). The conversion of men’s hearts will not come from the marches that we have in our streets demanding that laws are change to improve people lives. The conversion of men’s hearts come from a result of prayer and a demonstration of God’s Kingdom and power through His people lives (1 Corinthians 4:20).
Daniel understood much prayer through his relationship with God brought much power, but little or no prayer brought little or no power. Daniel understood that prayer was the key to him getting through his lion den experience and move upon the heart of the king to change the royal decree (Daniel 6:16-28). Though we are not thrown in a literal den of lions like Daniel, we can face lions of fear, discouragement, and lust. The word of God says in 1 Peter 5:8 “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour”. The power of prayer not only can change man’s laws but also causes the mouths of lions to be shut which have been assaulting our minds. It is my prayer when we go through a lion den experience as men, it will be because we are men of integrity and laws have been changed through prayer. To not have integrity and obedience to God’s word we can find ourselves facing the enemy which can cause us to be devoured as a result of our disobedience (1 Kings 13:11-24). It is more important my brother to be a man of prayer, knowing our position of power and to be able to change men’s laws through prayer.